Sunday, July 29, 2012

MIRAMONTE to be “nuked” due to illegal fish stocking

MONTROSE, Colo. – Colorado Parks and Wildlife is planning to take action to eradicate smallmouth bass at Miramonte Reservoir where they've become established after being stocked illegally.
The agency will utilize an organic pesticide to kill all the fish in the reservoir and then rebuild this renowned trout fishery that attracts anglers from throughout the West. The operation is tentatively scheduled to occur in late summer or fall of 2013.
In the meantime, Parks and Wildlife is implementing an emergency order that removes all bag and possession limits on smallmouth bass at Miramonte Reservoir.
"Killing all the fish in the reservoir lake is something we wish we didn't have to do, but we know we must," said Renzo DelPiccolo, area wildlife manager in Montrose. "People who illegally move fish into lakes, ponds and rivers are not only committing a criminal act, they are endangering native species, stealing a resource and recreational opportunity from thousands of anglers and negatively impacting the local community."
Miramonte Reservoir is located in San Miguel County about 10 miles south of Norwood in western Colorado.  The reservoir is one of the most productive still-water trout fisheries in the state and people travel from throughout the West to catch the rainbow and brown trout that regularly grow to quality size.  The lake is also a popular destination for crayfish enthusiasts. Miramonte accounts for about 20,000 angler days every year which contribute $1.5 million to the economy of San Miguel County.
Miramonte is a very productive reservoir, allowing Parks and Wildlife to stock thousands of fingerling trout every year. The trout grow quickly and reach quality size within two years.
"This reservoir is managed as a put and grow trout fishery and that management strategy will not change," explained John Alves, senior aquatic biologist for the southwest region for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. "Under this management strategy we can provide an excellent angling opportunity at a low cost to anglers."
Smallmouth bass, which are a warm-water predator fish, were illegally stocked in the reservoir sometime before 2011 and reproduction has been documented. A recent survey showed that in one year smallmouth bass have increased in abundance from 5 percent to 44 percent of the fish in the reservoir.
"The bass are now a top predator in the lake. They compete with trout for food and space, and consume trout and crayfish," Alves said. "If left alone, the bass could eventually devastate Miramonte as a trout fishery. Furthermore the habitat, prey base and water temperature will not support a quality bass fishery in the long term. So, once an illegally stocked fish population has become established, the only recourse is to start over by using a fish pesticide to kill all the fish in a

Link to full press release:

For more information about Miramonte and Don Noble State Wildlife Area, check out the SWA website, select Don Noble SWA in the search field and select go.


Howard Levett said...

What a shame that the time, expense and lost revenue has to be spent to bring Miramonte back to it's natural state. What's wrong with people?

Coloradocasters said...

Bucket biology can be devastating and has made Miramonte a lose-lose situation. I will also state that a lot of money is being spent on the Western Slope to remove certain species of sport fish. Not sure that I agree with what is being done but I don't fish these areas enough to have a dog in the fight. It is what it is and no one says that when something good happens.

Mark Kautz/Shoreman said...

Hope they do a better job than our group did in Davis Lake trying to get rid of the pike. They nuked it twice and the pike are still there, just a lot less of them.


Doc Outlaw said...

I hope they have better luck getting rid of the bass than the Maryland and Virginia folks have had with the snakehead. It only takes one moron with a bad idea to cause a ton of damage.